The two rounds of direct stimulus payments that were sent to millions of Americans are tax-free. But the special pandemic unemployment benefits are treated like income and could increase your 2020 tax bill if money hasn't already been withheld for taxes. But some people might actually receive more stimulus money when they file their 2020 tax returns. Because stimulus checks were calculated using 2018 or 2019 income, those who lost their job in 2020 or otherwise saw their income fall from the year before could be due extra cash -- which they can claim on their return.